Good morning and welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. We are continuing to unpack Wednesday’s Town Hall event and our exclusive talk with new CrossFit CEO Eric Roza. Below, Emily Beers outlines Roza’s goals for his first 100 days.
Also, the CrossFit Masters community lost a beloved figure in Mike Fournier this week, Patrick Clark tells his story and recaps day two of the Master’s Fitness Collective Championship.
Plus, Niki Brazier and Tommy Marquez break down the Town Hall on The Bottom Line.
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California Masters Athlete Dies Fighting Wildfires
2013 CrossFit Games Masters podium finisher Mike Fournier died in a helicopter crash on Wednesday while fighting a wildfire near Fresno, California. Fournier placed third in the 45-49 Masters Division in his lone Games appearance.
A family man, a hero: Fournier was piloting a helicopter performing water drops over a brush fire for CAL FIRE when it crashed with just him aboard in the central California hills. It took search and rescue teams six and a half hours to recover his remains from the rough terrain. The crews removed his body from the crash site wrapped in an American flag. The cause of the crash is unknown.
He will be remembered by his fellow CrossFitters as a family man. A husband and father of two daughters competed alongside Patrick Sprague and Ron Ortiz. Both athletes heard of the news while competing at the Masters Fitness Collective Championships in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“Words can’t do justice to describe the type of person he was,” said Sprague. “He was a super human being, a gentle beast. I’ve met so many people in this sport and he stands out amongst them all. All of us who knew him, loved him and thought he was an amazing man.”
Ortiz first met Fournier at the 2013 Games as they both battled for the 45-49 title. Ortiz would finish atop the podium but gained a friend that day according to him.
“He could always count on Mike for a hug and to genuinely ask how you were,” said Ortiz. “He’s an everyday hero. He walked through life knowing that at any time he could be called to do something that put his life on the line. He did it freely without hesitation. My heart goes out to his family, his daughters who he spoke so highly of. We are going to miss Mike. We lost a good soul.”
The organizers of the MFCC renamed the final workout on Sunday after Fournier in honor of him.
A GoFundMe page was established to help the family.
“I know where you are Mike and you’re looking down on us looking over your amazing wife, beautiful daughters and us,” said Sprague.
Masters Fitness Collective Championship Day Two Recap
Only two events awaited the athletes inside the Grand Wayne Convention Center on day two of the Masters Fitness Collective Championship on Friday. The caveat was that the events included a heavy ground to overhead ladder and a long, grueling down-and-back chipper appropriately called “Chop it Down”. At the end of the day those events didn’t really separate anyone from the pack in any of the 13 divisions, which showed the balance of competitive athletes throughout the field.
Men: Kyle Ruth remains in the lead by a 30-point margin over Ryon Anderson at the end of day two. Ruth has yet to have a finish outside of the top-two through two days of competition. He recorded two runner-up finishes on Friday. Anderson won his first event of the competition, taking “Chop it Down” with a time of 19:42. Kevin Jones sits in third, adding his second event win of the competition with a victory in “Speed Kills”, the only athlete in the division to clear the ladder and not get time-capped.
Women: The field remains balanced as a three-way tie for first place stands after day two. Rachel Green was the biggest mover, going from fourth to tied for the lead due to a sweep of day two’s events. She edged out Briana Gaipa in “Speed Kills” by two seconds and then left the field behind in “Chop it Down”, finishing in 17:41. Gaipa also added a third place finish to put her in the tie. April Payne is the third athlete in the deadlock.
ICYMI: Eric Roza, along with Nicole Carroll hosted the first CrossFit quarterly Town Hall Meeting.
The Day One Recap from the Master’s Fitness Collective Championship
There was no shortage of action in Fort Wayne, IN as 13 age group division took to the field (and pool) to compete in day one of the Master’s Fitness Collective Championship. Joel Godett recaps all the highlights.
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Two-time Masters Champ, Ron Ortiz, Talk about the Future of the Masters Divisions
He’s twice a CrossFit Games masters champion and, after sitting out 2019 due to injury, Ron Ortiz is back in 2020 at the Masters Fitness Collective Championships. Ortiz discusses the state of the masters competition slate and where he’d like to see things go in the future.
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A common question people often ask is “why didn’t that met-con go as planned?” We usually ask ourselves that as we are rolling around on the floor in a puddle of our own sweat. Check out this great blog post by Adrian Conway at Brute Strength for some answers and tips.